Flours, the foundation of every Indian meal come in varieties you could not imagine. Using flour can seem like a simple task. That is, until you get to the supermarket and are suddenly faced with multiple varieties. A less-thorough recipe may merely ask for flour, so it’s up to you to figure out which type is best for your needs.
Confused about the different types of flour? Knead not worry! This guide will walk you through when and how to use different types of flours.
Here some common household flours you can typically find at grocery stores.
- All-Purpose Flour: The flour that you’ll find in most kitchens and all store shelves. All-purpose flour is made from wheat crops, it contains the seed’s endosperm, which means it is more shelf-stable and will last longer than whole wheat flour.
- Amaranth Flour: This flour is ground from an ancient seed. It has a high level of complete protein, including lysine. Amaranth flour is considered to be an excellent thickener for sauces, gravies, soups and is also used in baked goods.
- Buckwheat Flour: It is made from Buckwheat, a cousin of Rhubarb (not wheat varietal nor technically a grain). Whole Buckwheat flour has a stronger flavor and more nutrients. White Buckwheat is milder and has fewer nutrients.
- Corn Flour: The flour is milled from the whole corn kernel (cornstarch is made from the endosperm). It is used in breading or blending with other flour for batters or dough.
Note: Corn meal can be ground into corn flour in a food processor.
- Rice Flour: Rice flour as the name suggests, is made from white rice. It is mostly used in baked goods such as pie crusts and cookies. In shortbreads, it gives a tender feel. Sweet or glutinous ‘sticky’ rice flour is made from high-starch, short grain rice, which is used to thicken sauces in Asian dishes.
- Oats Flour: This flour is ground from oat groats. Oats flour is used to replace some flour in a variety of recipes. It adds a rich, nutty flavor and denser texture to the dough. In baked foods that need to rise, this must be combined with other flours.
Although bulk options may be available for some flours, most flours are sold in pre-packaged quantities and proper storage helps to increase their shelf lives. In particular, whole-grain flours (with oil from their germ) and nut flours may turn rancid over time. Refrigerating or freezing flours in airtight containers can retain their powdery quality. And remember to bring to air temperature before using.
Wish to get your hands on these flours? Check out our product list and discover more options.